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Coronavirus: How much of the labor force is working from home and do they want to continue

More employees are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Will that trend continue after stay-at-home orders end?

Before and after the coronavirus

According to a June 2020 survey by Global Workplace Analytics, 76% of global office workers and 82% of U.S. office workers say they want to continue working from home, at least weekly, when the pandemic is over (approximately 75 million U.S. employees). But only 16% (19% in the U.S.) want to say goodbye to the office forever, with most preferring a bit of both. Half of the time in each place seems to be the sweet spot in the U.S. and slightly less in Europe.

Higher earners work from home more

A report by Brookings Institution using Bureau of Labor Statistics information shows those who can telecommute tend to be higher-paid professionals. Just under half of working Americans in the top 25% of the earnings distribution did any paid work from home in 2017 and 2018, compared with 4% in the bottom quartile.

Getting broadband

The map below is from the Federal Communications Commission and shows broadband health in America in 2017. The yellow (lightest shades) shows where no broadband access is available. Dark areas have multiple options available. In 2017, about 90.4% of the nation had access to broadband internet services.

In 2000, just 1% of the nation had broadband service in their homes. That has increased to nearly 75% in 2018, according to the Pew Research Center. A mere 14% of rural America has access to high-speed broadband.

Labor force by generations, in millions

More than one-in-three American labor force participants are millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Sources: Federal Communications Commission, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iometrics/Global Workplace Analytics, Pew Research Center, Brookings Institution

Source: Orange County Register

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